I really wanted to like Hell Night. I wanted to be pulled into the 1980s, a time when teenagers were proud of horror movies and viewed them as a something different and independent of the generation before. The problem is that I just couldn’t like Hell Night, no matter how campy it is. In a world of Urban Outfitters and where thrift shops are more in fashion than Prada, you would think that if you have that campy element, you are golden. Unfortunately, campy is becoming like corduroy pants, they were in fashion, went out, came back in, and are now (thank God) back out of style. Being campy isn’t enough anymore, you have to be original.
There is literally nothing original about Hell Night. It begins with a group of four pledges that have to sleep in Garth Manor, a creepy mansion that was the scene of gruesome murders. The group consists of the surfer dude, the British slut, the pious bitch, and the all-American boy. Naturally the surfer dude and British slut hit it off, while the unlikable pious girl (Linda Blair) makes it difficult for the all-American. What proceeds is what feels like 50 hours of tedious teases between fake little scares and genuinely gruesome deaths. Halfway through the movie I really wanted everyone to die so I could just do something else. What makes this film even worse is the acting and complete lack of detail in regard to the monster. I realize that Linda Blair is a horror movie legacy, but she is one of the most unlikable characters I have seen in a long time. She isn’t fun, she is stuck up, her voice is annoying, and I wanted her to die. The monster, which has the unique name of Andrew, looks like a really sickly Doc Brown. This basically means that there was no effort put into him. I realize that Andrew is supposed to be deformed, but so was the elephant man, and at least the elephant man looked scary.
If you are drinking and want a horror movie that has some unintentional comedy, this could be a bit of a treat, which is possibly why it has a cult following. If you want an actual horror gem that pushes your horror senses and doesn’t insult your intelligence, then stay far away from this one. Horror island now consists of a monster that looks like a cheap Halloween outfit. I hope the person behind this mask realizes that there are some real horror island inhabitants that won’t take cheap fronts and disguises lightly.
If you liked Hell Night, you might also like Friday the 13th and Friday the 13th Part III.